The Academy Awards was planning on introducing a new category for Oscar contention this year: outstanding achievement in popular film. The academy never fully defined what it means by “popular film,” but Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman wants nothing to do with it. Instead, Boseman hopes Black Panther will take home the award for best picture — and the movie’s supporters are mounting a campaign to see that it happens.
Boseman was recently asked about his thoughts on the new Oscar category, prior to the Academy announcing that they needed to rethink the whole thing after major backlash.
.@chadwickboseman: "I dare any movie to try to compare to the [level of] difficulty of this one. And the fact that so many people liked it — if you just say it's [merely] popular, that's elitist" https://t.co/pMbHuceZ4O
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) September 3, 2018
The actor agreed with a lot of the haters and admitted that he’s unsure if the addition was good or not, but he was confident Black Panther should only be considered for best picture. That said, there was a chance Black Panther would have gotten the most popular award given how the movie earned the most domestically and ranked second worldwide.
Even if Black Panther had been nominated for the new award, it could still be considered for best picture as well.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Academy members are not discouraged from nominating movies for multiple categories. As far as Boseman is concerned, the actor believes the cast and crew worked hard enough to win best picture and isn’t afraid to compare the movie with any of its competitors.
“And the fact that so many people liked it — if you just say it’s [merely] popular, that’s elitist,” Boseman added.
Good times, good people. I appreciate the love, @BritishGQ. And to my friend @ChrisHemsworth, thank you for presenting me with the International Man of the Year Award. #GQAwards #BossxGQAwards pic.twitter.com/zafBJ1A9pj
— Chadwick Boseman (@chadwickboseman) September 6, 2018
Apart from speaking his mind about the Oscars, Boseman talked about Marvel’s desire to change the way Black Panther’s main character, T’Challa, talked. The actor revealed that the studio originally wanted the Wakanda king to have a British accent because they thought it would make the audience more comfortable.
Fortunately, Chadwick Boseman was having none of it and pushed back to give T’Challa a South African accent that is based on the Xhosa language. The language is spoken in countries like Lesotho, Zimbabwe and South Africa.